Problem

HIV among drug users

Nature:
Sharing drug-injecting equipment without sterilizing it between users is an extraordinarily efficient way of spreading HIV. Where equipment sharing is common, HIV infection can race through drug-injecting populations with unparalleled speed.
Incidence:
HIV prevalence rose rapidly among drug injectors in Moscow. Over 2700 cases of HIV were reported in the Russian capital in the first nine months of 1999 alone - three times as many as in all previous years combined.

Drug injecting is already the most common cause of AIDS in some countries, accounting for two-thirds of reported cases in Bahrain in 1998 and half in Islamic Republic of Iran. In Tunisia, injecting drug use is responsible for more than one-third of AIDS cases. In Egypt, one AIDS case in 10 is among drug injectors. In Pakistan, 5.4% of 703 drug injectors tested HIV positive in 1995. Recent studies by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in a few countries of the Middle East - Egypt, Iran and Lebanon - indicate that the magnitude of the drug abuse problem should not be underestimated.

Claim:
Since drug injecting is illegal, it is very difficult to estimate the size of the drug-injecting popula-tion, let alone the extent to which they are linked in sexual networks with non-injectors.
Related Problems:
HTLV-II
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
18.12.1999 – 00:00 CET